1. Yee, J.
  2. Suskin, N.
  3. Arthur, H. M.
  4. Reid, R.
  5. Lotto, A.
  6. Stewart, D. E.
  7. Grace, S. L.

Article Content

Background: Communication between primary care providers (PCPs) and cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs is vital to support long-term risk reduction and optimize patient outcomes. To initiate this communication, intake reports notify PCPs that patients have entered the CR program, communicate preliminary clinical information on which the CR plan is based, and include physicians in the shared care of the patient early in the CR process. This study quantitatively investigated PCP perceptions of intake communication with CR programs, and preferences for intake report content.


Methods: PCPs of consenting cardiac enrollees in 4 Ontario CR programs were identified for this on-going mixed-methods study. Consenting PCPs were interviewed over the phone using a structured interview guide, which included closed and open-ended questions regarding preferred content and views on shared care with CR. A descriptive examination was performed, and open-ended responses were coded.


Results: To date, 22 PCPs have completed interviews. Overall, 20 (90.1%) PCPs stated that they wanted to receive an intake report, and 17 (77.3%) perceived they were useful for patient care. 18 (81.8%) PCPs preferred to receive intake reports by mail, 16 (72.2%) by fax, and 7 (31.8%) by email. 21 (95.5%) PCPs responded that 1 or 2 pages was the optimal length for the intake report. 22 (100%) PCPs responded that they and the specialist should receive a report; 17 (77.3%) thought that patients should also receive a copy. On a 5-point Likert scale, PCPs rated exercise test results (mean = 4.68+/-0.48), clinical status (4.54+/-0.86), and off-target indicators (4.59+/-0.80) as the most important information to be included, while non-modifiable risk factors (3.31+/-1.04) and subjective reports from the patient (3.59+/-1.01) were rated as least important. Of the 7 PCPs who received an intake report, PCPs rated the degree to which it met their needs as 4.29+/-0.76 on a 5-point Likert scale. The overall quality of CR intake reports previously received was rated by PCPs as 4.42+/-0.53.


Conclusions: Preliminary results suggest that overall PCPs want to receive CR intake reports, are highly satisfied with intake communication from CR programs, and they use the information for patient care. Over 1/3 of PCPs have the capacity to receive electronic communication from CR programs, although more stated that they are soon adopting electronic records. Most PCPs prefer to receive 1-2 page intake reports, and had some constructive suggestions for improvement.